Edinburgh and the Cairngorms National Park

Donaton

June 2024

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights


Overview

Embark on a tour of Scotland, traversing vibrant cities and majestic countryside. Wander through Edinburgh’s ancient cobblestone streets, relishing in Edinburgh Castle’s grandeur, the Royal Mile’s enchantment, and the cultural marvels found within the city’s museums and galleries. Transition into the serenity of the Cairngorms, where three days of hiking await amidst nature’s splendour with an expert Wilderness guide. Traverse picturesque trails, soaking in panoramic vistas of rolling hills, peaceful lochs, and dense woodlands. As the adventure draws to a close, enjoy a scenic drive back to Edinburgh to continue on, taking your memories of the hills with you.

Highlights

  • Experience the vibrant rhythms of Scottish cities, surrounded by a diverse range of culinary delights and a variety of artwork.
  • Discover the majesty of the deep glens, clear rivers and wild lochs on expertly guided walks.
  • Look out for a variety of wildlife as you hike in the Cairngorms National Park.

Day by Day

Day 1 - Welcome to Edinburgh

Arrive in the architecturally stunning city of Edinburgh today and settle into your lovely accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to head out and explore the winding alleys and cobblestone streets. Full of history, the capital is very accessible by foot. Wander up the Royal Mile, visiting St Giles’ Cathedral (which has been a working church for over 900 years) and Edinburgh Castle, which offers sweeping views over the city. This evening, enjoy dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Raeburn

Day 2 - Exploring Edinburgh

Embark on a morning walk with a Blue Badge guide, exploring Edinburgh’s hidden gems, such as the Palace of Holyroodhouse or the stunning Holyrood Park, home to Arthur’s Seat. Following the tour, relish an afternoon at your own pace. Enjoy a delightful lunch at a local café before exploring Stockbridge’s charming streets filled with boutiques and galleries. Alternatively, immerse yourselves in modern art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art or take a serene stroll along the Water of Leith Walkway.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Raeburn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 - A Day Trip to Glasgow

Hop on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow and watch the fields and villages pass you by. Stroll along the vibrant Buchanan Street for a taste of the city’s lively atmosphere. Indulge in a morning coffee at a local café and venture to cultural gems like Kelvingrove Art Gallery or the historic Necropolis, sitting atop a hill that offers citywide views. For a local culinary experience, enjoy a spot of lunch in the Merchant City area. Explore the West End’s Botanic Gardens and boutiques, and perhaps visit the Riverside Museum to delve into Glasgow’s transport history. Soak up the dynamic ambience of the city until it’s time to catch the train back to Edinburgh and prepare for your adventure north tomorrow.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Raeburn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 - Scenic Stops on the way to the Cairngorms National Park

After a hearty breakfast, meet your Wilderness Guide and commence your journey to the Cairngorms National Park. Along the way, enjoy a refreshing stop at Scone Palace, an idyllic estate where you can stretch your legs on a short walk to explore the grounds. Embrace the scenic drive, absorbing the breathtaking landscapes en route to Ballater. If time allows and you’re eager for adventure, your guide can suggest a picturesque walk amidst the stunning countryside. Upon reaching Ballater, settle into your accommodations and perhaps take a leisurely stroll through the charming village, setting the stage for an exciting experience in the Cairngorms.

Overnight: Ballater | Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 - Hiking the trails of Royal Deeside

Wake up to a cosy breakfast to start the day right and take in the views of Royal Deeside. Best known for being the Scottish home of the Royal family, it also boasts fine walks in an ancient wooded landscape. We’ll enjoy a short walk, taking in stunning views and spotting some of the local wildlife. Wander amidst towering Scots pines, oak groves, and birch trees, while perhaps spotting colourful wildflowers like bluebells or heather carpeting the forest floor. Return to your hand-picked accommodation to wind down for the evening, perhaps sinking into a fat armchair to read a book about the area or discussing the day’s activities over dinner.

Overnight: Ballater | Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Walk Details: 10 km / 6 miles | 300 m / 984 ft elevation gain | Approx: 3.5 hrs

Day 6 - The Cuckoo Glen and the Devil's Punchbowl

This circular hike is one of the best in Royal Deeside. We follow a good trail north to the edge of the Cairngorm plateau, where some of the highest peaks in Scotland rise from the deep glens. The wilderness is striking and the beauty is all around. The rivers are a real highlight with the striking rock features of the Linn of Dee and the Devil’s Punchbowl most notable.

Overnight: Ballater | Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Walk Details: 17 km / 11 miles | 200 m / 656 ft elevation gain | Approx: 6 hrs

Day 7 - The Shadow of Lochnagar

After a filling breakfast, set off on a hike to explore Glen Muick, which lies in the shadow of the famous peak of Lochnagar. It takes us through ancient pine forest, past one of Queen Victoria’s hunting lodges and beneath towering cliffs as we circumnavigate beautiful Loch Muick. It’s also a great place for spotting wildlife – look out for red deer and golden eagles.

Overnight: Ballater | Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
Walk Details: 12 km / 7 miles | 200 m / 656 ft elevation gain | Approx: 5 hrs

Day 8 - Back to Edinburgh and Depart

After a final breakfast, return to the capital city today and bid farewell to the Highlands as you watch the gradual change in the scenery. Rolling hills become the bustling streets of the city until you reach your accommodation and say goodbye to your guide to continue with your onward journey.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 8
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable qualified guide from Day 4 to Day 8
  • Ground transportation from Day 4 to Day 8
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
Pricing Read More

The price of this trip is £4,915 per person and is based on availability at the time of booking.

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